Tell It to the Bees

By: Azure Hall

You have left me, and I am in mourning.
I’d like to sit shiva with you.
Line up barstools or mismatched throw pillows
on the floor around the husk of what we once were.

Cloak the mirrors in our silver satin
sheets and oversized sleep shirts
that we will never share again.
Light a candle tall enough to burn for a week.

Leave the door to our haunted house
unlocked, usher guests in and open
our mouths wide for the casseroles
meant to fill the spaces where love once lived.

We could stand on opposite sides
of the family room, an ocean between us,
and lean into the tide of loved ones
who will wrap us in a lifejacket embrace.

But you have left me.
And I am in mourning.
And you still live.
And there will be no kaddish chorus.

There is only me.
And the mismatched throw pillows.
And the silver satin sheets.
And the bees.

So, while I would like to sit shiva with you,
I will go and tell it to the bees.
I will bow my head amidst their buzzing
and beg them to forgive me.

I will bury beneath them
the oversized sleep shirts
and never sell, give away,
nor exchange these bees of the dead.

I will hum a tune traced by our feet
across tiles on the kitchen floor
while your pumpkin, rice and beans
simmered on the stove.

I will knock, knock, knock,
on each and every hive,
and cloak their homes
in silver satin sheets.

"Little bee,
our love is dead;
leave me not
in my distress."

You have left me.
And I am in mourning.
But I have told it
to the bees.

- Tell It to the Bees

Azure Hall is an author and poet from Virginia currently living in the Rocky Mountain region. They received the 2023 Oberon Poetry Prize for their poem "Division & Surrender of Property Short Form" and released by first full-length collection, Reflections: A Mythology in Poetry & Prose, in Nov. 2023 through Indie Earth Publishing.

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